As I think back over the last 2 years, the above verse came to my mind. We are constantly reminded that we are strangers and pilgrims here in this earth. The “strangers & pilgrims” concept has become clearer in my mind as I spent the last 2 years here in Nicaragua. When I arrived, I felt very much like a stranger – as time moved along, I soon felt more comfortable here, but as I now look at the past 2 years, I once again remember that I am just passing through. The 2 years that I have spent here are full of so many wonderful memories and many stretching, growing experiences. I thank the Lord for the opportunity that I had to serve Him here.
In the last couple weeks, I have been saying so many good-byes and trying to spend “precious memories” with all my friends. One of the hardest thing for me was to say “good-bye” to all the friends that I met over the past years. One afternoon the 3 young ladies (Lanita, Carmen, Krista) that have arrived to fill the positions here in Nicaragua went out with me to Café Rosita. It was great to spend time with them and to connect with them. I wish them the Lord´s blessing as they serve Him here in Nicaragua.
(Laura, Doña Enma, Sindy, Jesenia, Jorlenis,Christine, Megan & myself – along with the little boy)
Laura decided to invite one of the ladies from La Palmerita along with her daughters out to her house for supper one night. We decided to do a “soup & salad” supper. I attempted to make bread bowls for the soup. They didn’t turn out too bad, considering that it was a “first” for me. It was a great experience for them, as well as for us. It was also a great way to spend time with them and make memories.
Then about a week later, Enma invited us all out to her house for lunch. She served us large plates of chicken soup. It was so good and we all had a wonderful time.
Last week we planned a “farewell” party out at the church and invited the ladies and children to come out on Tuesday afternoon. We did some singing and I shared a short devotional – another “first”. Afterward Laura and Christine took care of the children’s activities. They had a large ice chest of water balloons that all the children just loved. They then played soccer and kickball. Krista and Lanita helped me sew together a bunch of simple purses. We gave them a small piece of fabric of a contrasting color and allowed them to sew these scraps on the purse. The ladies all seemed to enjoy it and it was wonderful to spend time with each of these ladies.
As I spent time with all my friends and started saying “good-byes” it didn’t seem like reality. As last week continued to draw to a close, reality starting sinking in. However there were a couple more “firsts” that the came into my life.
I got the privilege to kill several tarantulas- Keith killed the one on the porch and I killed 2 that came marching into my house like they owned it.
On Monday as I was preparing to leave, one of the neighbors arrived and wondered if someone would be able to go La Paz Centro – a town about 40 minutes away. Keith wasn’t able to go, as he had twisted his ankle yesterday, so I said I could do the run. The neighbor hadn’t told me what I needed to do, but we headed out. We went through La Paz and about 10 minutes out of the town, I realized what I was getting in for. The neighbor’s Jeep left him set and he needed someone to pull him home. Not only did we have to pull the Jeep, but also the trailer that had a large bull on it. Talk about having a “stretching” experience. I had never before pulled a vehicle, but I guess sometime needed to be the “first”. I was never so glad to see my home, but I was grateful to have Ramon in the truck with me to tell me when to shift down and such things…that needed to be taken into consideration when pulling a vehicle.
Little Owen getting weighed at the clinic.
Little boy with a “big” lunch
Lanita with “Beulah”, giving Ava a ride.
I want to take this time to thank each of you all for your prayers as I served the Lord here in Nicaragua in the last 2 years. Without your prayers, the work here would have seen so much harder. May God richly bless you all for your encouragement to me and the work here. Please continue to lift the work here in Nicaragua to the throne of grace.
Lord willing, I will be flying out of Managua at 1:00pm and arriving at BWI at 11:40pm.
Thank you once again! Andrea